Commissioner of Agriculture Adam Putnam celebrated Florida Ag Literacy Day by reading “Florida’s Farm History!” to more than 50 students in the historic Senate Chamber of the Old Capitol on Tuesday. The event was geared to teach the children from Apalachee Tapestry Magnet School of the Arts the history of Florida agriculture.
According to a release from Putnam’s office:
Florida Ag Literacy Day teaches the history of Florida agriculture starting in the 1500s when the Native Americans were growing melons and maize through the ship-building of the 1700s and the advent of railroads in the 1800s. The 1900s saw poultry farming, innovations in orange juice and devastation from hurricanes, while today’s farmers are reaping the benefits of scientific advancements in agricultural production and processing.
“As we celebrate Florida’s 500th anniversary this year, I’m proud to share the history of Florida agriculture with others,” Putnam said. “It’s such a great opportunity to share this book with children and teach them about where the food they eat every day comes from.”
Commissioner Putnam read the book as the children followed along with their own copies. Afterwards, the kids talked about their favorite foods to eat, from peanut butter to oranges, which are all produced in Florida.
The 10th Annual Florida Agriculture Literacy Day celebrated 500 years of Florida agriculture history. Commissioner Putnam joins more than 1,300 farmers, growers and ranchers from Florida Farm Bureau, Florida Cattlemen and Cattlewomen, Florida Citrus Mutual, Florida Fruit & Vegetable Association, Farm Credit, Florida Nursery, Growers and Landscape Association, Dairy Council of Florida, Florida Peanut Producers, FFA students and teachers, University of Florida IFAS extension agents, Florida 4-H agents and students and other agriculture industry volunteers around the state who will read in honor of the event.
They will visit more than 2,800 elementary classrooms and reach more than 56,000 Florida students with the message of the importance of Florida agriculture and the role it has played in the Sunshine State’s history.
Florida Ag Literacy Day is sponsored by Florida Agriculture in the Classroom Inc., a nonprofit organization that develops and trains teachers and agriculture industry volunteers in agriculture curriculum in order to educate students on the importance of agriculture. It also provides grant money to teachers and volunteers for projects that teach children where their food comes from and the importance of Florida’s farmers. The nonprofit is funded by sales of the specialty agricultural license plate known as the Ag Tag.
“Florida Agriculture Literacy Day is a popular program that puts agriculture industry volunteers from around the state in touch with students in the classroom to teach students about agriculture,” said Ken Barton, chairman of the Florida Agriculture in the Classroom board of directors and a representative of the Florida Peanut Producers Association.
For more information on Ag Literacy Day and Florida Agriculture in the Classroom, please visit FlAgintheClassroom.com. For more information about the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, please visit FreshFromFlorida.com.